Looking for a work at home job is frustrating. You get past all the scams, find great looking jobs to apply for, and still no one will hire you. You might not even be getting to the first interview. What’s going on? Why is it so hard to get hired for a work at home job?
Hah. Wouldn’t you like to know?
No, seriously, wouldn’t you like to know?
I can’t really say why a particular person doesn’t get a particular work at home job, or any job for that matter. I’m not involved in processing resumes or making interview or hiring decisions. There are, however, some common reasons that make getting the job harder. Consider them, and see if they apply to you and your job search habits.
1. Applying for every job under the sun.
Otherwise known as throwing shit at the wall and seeing what sticks. It’s not really effective, really messy, and turns potential employers off.
They can’t tell that you’re applying for every job everywhere, but what they can tell is that you aren’t paying enough attention to the specific requirements their job has. Work at home employers receive all too many applications from people who have no relevant experience and give no indication of having read the job listing beyond the phrase “work at home.”
Be picky about which jobs you apply for, and make it show on your resume. List the skills you have that they ask for in the ad. Use the same keywords if you can. You don’t want to copy their ad into your resume, but when you have a matching skill, use the same or similar phrasing. This will help you get through any automated sorting of applications.
Do not claim skills or experience you don’t have. It does you no good to claim a skill that way and then be unable to do that job or even talk up the skill correctly in the interview.
2. Poorly written resume.
Does your resume look professional? Does it reflect the skills and experience requested in the job posting? What about typos? Other mistakes?
If you aren’t getting anywhere in your job search, you may want to consider having a professional resume writer take a look at it. Yes, this costs money. Yes, you will still have to adapt it for each job you apply for. And yes, you may have to break it up into segments to cut and paste into online job applications with companies that don’t want the full resume. Make sure you answer every section on an online job application.
A well-written resume will make all of that easier. If you don’t want to pay someone else to do it, at least get a current book on resume writing and review your resume carefully. Styles have changed somewhat through the years, as most resumes are no longer submitted on paper. Make sure your resume works with current expectations. Remember, the company wants you to benefit them. Focus on their needs in your resume. If you were an excellent employee for someone else, share the specific achievements that might benefit a new employer.
Make certain that your resume is accurate as well. If a potential employer checks with your previous employers and finds out you gave them inaccurate information, you probably won’t get the job. This may include dates of employment and salary history.
3. You aren’t checking your spam folder.
The trouble with email is that it doesn’t always go where it should. If you have any sort of spam filtering on your email service, you might be missing emails from potential employers. If you don’t catch these, you could be missing out on opportunities.
I absolutely do not mean unsolicited emails from people claiming to offer work at home jobs. This is a common form of work at home scam. What you want to be on the lookout for is email from companies you have applied to. Sometimes these hit the spam box too, and if you aren’t checking, you’ll never know they wanted to hear from you.
4. You only apply to the big companies.
It’s very comfortable applying to the big companies that offer work at home jobs. They have solid reputations as employers. The problem is that everyone else does the same thing. They may get hundreds or even thousands of applications for a single opening. The odds that they’ll notice you aren’t that good.
So long as you’re careful, you can and should apply to smaller companies too. There are lots of smaller companies that use home based workers. They’re harder to find, but that means less competition when you do find them. You can find a lot of companies on social media sites such as LinkedIn.
Prepare yourself for your job hunt, network, and look for more places to find companies willing to hire people to work at home. All these things will improve the odds that you will get hired for a work at home job.
5. You aren’t changing things that aren’t working for you.
Sure, it’s easy to say that it’s hard to land a work at home job. It’s even true.
But if your job hunt is getting you any results, change the one thing you have control over: what you’re doing. Change your resume. Rethink the jobs you’re applying for. Take some time and just figure out why things aren’t working out.
Check your social media accounts too. Are they messing you up? Many employers review potential employees’ social media accounts. They can learn a lot about you this way, and if you aren’t prepared, your social media presence can damage your chances toward a job.
6. You aren’t prepared for interviews.
If you’re getting as far as the interview but not getting the job, something’s right with your resume but wrong with your interviewing skills. You need to prepare better for interviews.
Read up on how to interview for a job successfully. Have questions ready, not just about things like salary and benefits, but about the company and the job. Remember, employers want to know how you can benefit them. They don’t want you to focus on how they can benefit you when they haven’t even offered you the job yet.
Be prepared to state why you’re a match for the job. Wanting to get hired for a work at home job is not enough. That’s about you, not about the job.
If the interview is over the phone, you don’t have to look professional, but you certainly have to sound professional. It may help to practice phone interviews with a friend or family member. Just as with an in-person interview, make sure you’re on time for a phone interview. If you miss that call you can’t bet on them calling you back.
7. You don’t follow up when it’s appropriate.
This one isn’t relevant to all employers. Some very specifically request that you not follow up on applications or interviews. If that’s the case, follow their instructions.
Other companies, however, welcome inquiries as to how your job application is going. They’re fine with you calling up and asking about your application. It may even show them that you’re strongly interested in the position.
A thank you note may also be appropriate after an interview. It’s not always necessary, especially if the company prefers that you do not contact them until they say you have the job, but it can be useful at other times.
What Does It Take To Get Hired For A Work At Home Job?
It doesn’t take anything all that unusual to get hired for a work at home job. Just as with any other job, you have to be qualified for the job you’re applying for. You have to impress the interviewer.
The main difference you may expect between a work at home job and an outside the home job is questioning about your home office setup. Interviewers shouldn’t ask about your family – that’s generally off limits for legal reasons. Your ability to work at home, on the other hand, is a legitimate concern.
Some jobs will want to know how quiet your workspace is. If you’re talking to people on the phone, they may want to know that there won’t be any background noise.
If the company is not providing your equipment, they may want to know what kind of computer you have, your internet speed and so forth. They may want to know if you have wired connections for your phone and internet, rather than wireless. These questions may have been on the application, but don’t be surprised if they come up again in an interview.
You will probably also be asked about how comfortable you are with remote work. If this is your first work at home job, you won’t have direct experience to refer to. Instead, think of times you have been independent as you work, and how well you work without direct supervisions. Have examples ready if at all possible.
Overall, the process may not be all that different from landing any other job. You have to convince the employer that you are the best person for the job. Keep your focus on that, and maybe it won’t be too hard to get hired for a work at home job.